PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregonians love their beer — something that wouldn’t be possible without hop farmers who are in the middle of the season.
Brewers and brokers around the state get their hops from Coleman Agriculture in St. Paul.
The family-owned business works around-the-clock to make making they produce high quality hops. Machinery moves through the hop fields trimming bines before a top cutter clips them off an overhead line and they’re collected in the back of a truck. From there, the bines are suspended from hooks, lifted from the truck to the processing house where the machinery discards the bines — leaving behind the valuable cones that go into beer.
A conveyor system puts the cones into a drying kiln where much of the moisture is air dried out.
Farmer Ben Coleman said they need to get just the right amount of moisture level between 8-10%. If the hops are too wet, they can spoil and if they’re too dry, it affects the quality for brewers.
Every year, Coleman Agriculture produces over 2 million pounds of hops from 24 distinct varieties.
Dried cones are showered onto the warehouse floor below the kiln where they’re prepared for bailing. One of the bales equals an average of about 200 kegs of beer.
Oregon, Washington and Idaho produce almost all of America’s hops